Another genre of kite we are seeing boom recently is the single strut. Single strut kites are a brilliant addition to your quiver, or even replacements for your quiver. They tend to be very lightweight, pack down much smaller for traveling, have huge amounts of depower and many are now performing incredibly well.
Ozone have the Uno which is a small 2.5m, 4m & 6m single strut kite. This has always been incredibly popular with schools and the groms of the world due to its small sizing. However, it has always lacked a bigger sibling: welcome the Alpha V1!
Ozone have recently dropped this new addition to their line up into the kite market and it looks like it’s going to be a corker. Targeting the travel, freeride, surf and foiling aspects of our sport the Ozone aims to deliver a smooth, effective, lightweight kite with the Alpha V1. We see the usual Ozone build quality put into this medium aspect single strut kite, in sizes up to 12m.
The Alpha V1 comes in three standard colourways (custom colors available, and is best partnered with the Ozone Contact V4 Bar. It weighs between 1.3 and 2.5kgs, depending of course on size.
Sizes: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12m
The Contact Bar has had a facelift this year; the results keep the same simple and stylish design we have grown to love, yet added a few key elements to make our lives even easier. In short, the Contact V4 bar is really good.
Starting with the new Click-In chicken loop, sometimes the simplest designs are best, and Ozone have produced a chicken loop which is every bit as functional as you would imagine. A moulded loop for easy hooking in and out, a releasable suicide mode, so the safety is always ready to be activated no matter your way of riding, and an above-loop swivel which doesn’t lock into the bar but does sit close. The safety release is industry standard push-away with single line re-ride and, taking inspiration from the common seat belt, to reengage the release you simply click the release back into the top of the loop with one hand.
The centre line is hidden inside a PU tube, keeping everything smooth as you sheet in and out on the bar. The bar itself has had an update to the grip and colours. The new grip has been shaped slightly differently, so it sits perfectly below your fingers along the top.
The new EVA coating has been wound around the bar rather than a continuous coating, this simply adds more ridges and bumps which again aid grip; simple and very effective. Integrated bar ends and floats remain on the new Contact Bar, but now feature the additional ability to trim the back lines at the bar ends. This is super easy to do and incredibly useful.
Moving up the bar, the trim system stays the same using a racing grade cleat, as well as the bungee trim line. The new Ozone lines came into play earlier this year and are now shipping as standard with all Ozone bars. Lighter, stronger and with less stretch than the already excellent lines.
“the ultimate travel companion”
Upon launch it immediately became apparent just how epic this kite was going to be. It was incredibly solid above head; the kite sits in the window with oodles of feedback through the bar. The kite remains stable even when fully depowered, but does begin to start flapping as you hit full extension on the bar and crank the trim right in. However, this doesn’t affect the stability. The Alpha V1 handles gusts amazingly too.
The depower range on this kite is amazing, tons available. Unlike some single strut kites that become almost uncontrollable when the bar is fully out the Alpha V1 remains manageable at all points on the throw. Having to throw the kite into a loop for certain manoeuvres isn’t a worry any more as this single strut kite can dump all power instantly.
The Alpha V1 is direct on the bar, there is ample amounts of bar pressure and feedback, not as strong as you find on some more performance models, but perfect for that smooth, easy to use feel. The turning of the kite is smooth and progressive. The kite is fast for its size, and loop is pivotal. A lot of fun can be had out slashing the waves on this kite.
The kite flies upwind and generates a generous amount of pull even in light wind conditions. The Alpha V1 also boasts a great deal of performance on the water. It delivers a smooth, yet vast amount of boost on the water with a predicable amount of hangtime. It’s not likely to be a Woo record setter or the next world championship freestyle machine (and neither has it set out to be), yet for those wanting a easy, smooth kite for popping some strapless airs, or styling out some freeride moves this is a great contender. Out on a foil the Alpha V1 comes to life again, it’s super predictable and loves to be chucked about, the light weight and low wind performance make it a brilliant option for freeride foiling.
The Alpha V1 is incredibly easy to relaunch even in light winds and waves, just a touch on the side stopper balls or turn on the bar and its ready to take off in no time.
The Ozone Alpha V1 is incredibly forgiving, it has a fantastic range of depower, performs in a variety of disciplines and packs away super small, perfect for traveling. The Click In chicken loop has one of the best releases on the market by a mile.
No issues with the Alpha V1, just be sure to upgrade your bag option to the Technical bag, if you are looking for more of a robust packing option over the lightweight compressor bag that comes as standard. The addition of a sliding rope chicken loop option could be a welcome addition for the foilers and wave riders out there.
I really enjoy a good one-strut kite, they are extremely fun and easy to fly. The Alpha V1 was just that, very smooth, predictable, with ample amounts power and depower, and it’s quick in the air. The fact it packs down incredibly small and weighs next to nothing gives you the ultimate travel companion. The Alpha V1 is a brilliant choice for anyone freeriding, dabbling at strapless and those wanting to freeride foil. It is easy to use thus suitable for those at an entry level, however its performance is great enough to keep up with the most progressive riders out there too! If smooth is your style then the Alpha V1 is for you. Coupled with the Contact V4 bar and new click-in loop you’re onto a winner here.
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